Right before my plane to Costa Rica took off, I checked my email messages on my phone. I wasn’t really expecting any important emails, but you never know these days. :) Of course to my surprise, the senior editor of Yourtango.com, who had published my very first essay, Zodiac Hijack: Astrology Ended My Relationship, asked me to read it at the 2nd annual NYC LitCrawl. I couldn’t believe it! As I had only minutes before the flight attendant reminded all passengers to put away our devices, I shot a quick email back telling her an enthusiastic YES.

On the day itself, which fell on September 11th, I was calm and didn’t think anything about the reading. That didn’t last long. Soon after I got on the LIRR to go into the city, my heart started racing and my fingers trembled. At this point, I hadn’t even practiced reading my piece loudly. Now I was about to recite it to a room full of eager listeners! To calm myself down, I walked 40 blocks, listened to Shakira (for some confidence) and arrived before everyone else. My lovely friends showed up to support (thank you, guys!!) I was third to go.

While I was nervous earlier, calmness set in once again. I knew this was a big deal. It was my very first reading after all. But I blocked everyone else out, got in the zone and just READ my essay with all my heart. It was A M A Z I N G. What’s even better was that the place was packed and not one single person made fun of me. But then again, who could? :) The best part of it all was seeing my writing professor Susan Shapiro in the audience. She specifically made the trip to see me read. That made the event all that much more special. I made sure I gave her a shout out, because if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t even be up there.

Afterwards, I attended other readings, chatted with fellow writers and laughed with my friends.  I had one of the best nights of my life. For once, I had forgotten all the pain that preceded the essay. Then again, pain and happiness are very real parts of life.  They have to be experienced fully. There is no way around it. :)